Zenith Media is launching its first joint venture - a new media brand in
conjunction with Leagas Shafron Davis.
The new 50/50 joint venture, called Zebra Media, launches with billings
of pounds 28 million and a client list including Zanussi, the Central
Office of Information and Royal Sun Alliance.
The venture has been engineered by Leagas Shafron’s media director, Jeff
Hyams, now managing director of Zebra, the agency’s chairman, Ron
Leagas, and Zenith’s joint managing director, Graham Duff.
The three will be joined on the Zebra board by Bryan Levin, Leagas
Shafron’s financial director, Zenith’s financial controller, Colin
McReavie, and Zenith’s head of TV, Tim Greatrex.
Hyams said: ‘The realities of volume trading and the concentration of
media ownership mean size is perceived as important. By linking up with
Zenith we can offer clients size married with creative media expertise.’
The new joint venture will seek new business as well as taking on Leagas
Shafron’s media clients. Zenith will handle the media buying, while
media planning will be housed with Zebra, which will move to its own
floor in the agency’s building.
It is the first joint venture Zenith has launched in the UK. ‘The deal
with Leagas Shafron is like a terrific new-business win for us,’ Duff
‘We intend this to have a life beyond simply buying Zebra’s spots and
Hyams added that creating a separate media brand would not mean
distancing media from the creative process.
The initiative has been welcomed by Leagas Shafron’s clients. Ian Symes,
the marketing director of Zanussi, described the launch of Zebra as ‘a
major advancement in a client’s communications battleplan.
‘It is like combining the strategic planning of Hannibal with the
overpowering strength of General Schwarzkopf’s army - there’s no need to
debate which side you want to be on.’